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Vol. 81, No. 3-4, 2011
Issue release date: December 2011
Oncology 2011;81:143–150

Inferior Survival of Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Patients Who Received Gemcitabine-Based Chemotherapy but Did Not Participate in Clinical Trials

Yang S.-H. · Kuo Y.-H. · Tien Y.-W. · Hsu C. · Hsu C.-H. · Kuo S.-H. · Cheng A.-L.
Departments of aOncology, bSurgery and cInternal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, and dCancer Research Center, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, and eDepartment of Oncology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yun-Lin Branch, Yunlin, Taiwan, ROC

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Background: Advanced pancreatic cancer, even when treated, is highly lethal. The best choice of gemcitabine-based therapy and the prognostic factors affecting the success of treatment remain uncertain. Methods: We identified 159 of 1,475 patients with pancreatic cancer diagnosed in our institution and receiving gemcitabine-based chemotherapy between January 1995 and June 2007. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to evaluate the prognostic significance of various clinical parameters for overall survival (OS). Results: The median survival after gemcitabine-based therapy was 5.4 months; 89.9% (n = 143) had ductal adenocarcinoma, 55.3% (n = 88) with stage IV. Gemcitabine alone was given to 60 (38%) patients, and gemcitabine with high-dose infusional fluorouracil (5-FU) with (n = 25) or without (n = 39) oxaliplatin was given to 64 (40%) patients. All regimens correlated with OS (p = 0.042) but not with the response rate (RR; p = 0.3). The overall RR was 11.1%, and all responders had a good performance status (PS). The RRs to gemcitabine with infusional 5-FU, and gemcitabine with oxaliplatin and infusional 5-FU were 5.3 and 20.8%, respectively. In a multivariate analysis, old age, advanced stage, poor PS and no enrollment in clinical trials were associated with inferior survival. Conclusions: The outcome for patients who did not participate in clinical trials, regardless of gemcitabine-based treatment, is still bleak.

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